Palermo of the Belle Epoque: a trip between histories, passions, companies and the historical houses of Florio and Whitaker families.
DAY 1: Arrival in Palermo and welcome meeting
DAY 2: Palermo of the Belle Epoque
DAY 3: Marsala and Mozia
Day 4: Favignana
Day 5: Palermo
Day 6: Departure
Day 1 – Arrival in Palermo
Arrival to the airport of Palermo and transfer to the hotel.
Welcome aperitif with the local guide
Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 FB – Through the Whitaker and Florio paths
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the local guide and the expert.
Walk through the paths of Liberty style of Palermo discovering the work of art hidden to the classic tourism.
We will start from Piazza Verdi, where, just outside the ancient walls of the city and the “Porta Maqueda” (no longer existing), there is the Massimo Theatre (built from 1875 to 1897), a masterpiece of Giovan Battista Filippo Basile and of his son Ernesto Basile.
We will continue along Ruggero Settimo Road until Politeama Theatre, and along Via Libertà, the most elegant road of Palermo, inspired to the Parisian boulevards, to reach “Villino Florio, built between 1899 and 1900 from the architect Ernesto Basile, that was immersed in the Florio park long time ago. The Villino is considered a masterpiece of the Art Nouveau. It was abandoned for decades, also due to the fire that destroyed some furniture and rooms. It was recently restored and reopened to the visitors.
Villa Whitaker Amalfitano is located not so far from the Villino Florio, a beautiful residence of Joseph “Pip” Whitaker’s family, one of the major exponents of the middle class of Palermo during the Belle Epoque. In contrast to the Villino Florio, this Villa is surrounded by a park and it was inhabited from the last descendant of the Whitaker family, called Delia, until the 80s. We can also find all the original forniture, rooms and ornaments.
We will move on visiting the Palazzina dei Quattro Pizzi all’Arenella, projected by Carlo Giachery in neogothic style, the last residence of Vincenzo Florio jr.
Day 3 FB – Marsala and Mozia – wines, commerce and the passion for the archeology
Departure to Marsala. From the historical Imbarcadero, with the typical way of transport of the city, we will sail inside the Natural Reserve of the Stagnone Island of Marsala, to the discovery of the first phoenician colony in Sicily called Mozia.
The island known as “San Pantaleo” was a property of the Whitaker Family at the end of the XIX century and it was Joseph Whitaker who started the excavations that brought to life the first part of the Mozia’s archeological heritage. Walking among the excavations (still in progress) we will admire a unique countryside with vineyards, salt and windmills, sea and light. We will visit the Museum that preserves the artifacts excavated during the excavations like the famous statue of the Giovinetto di Mozia.
We will move on visiting the Cantine Florio of Marsala where we will have lunch.
Transfer to Trapani and boarding gate in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay in Favignana/Marsala
Day 4 FB – The industry of the tuna
We will move on with our tour discovering the world of the Florio family visiting the Ex Stabilimento Florio of Favignana.
The Stabilimento, gem of the industrial architecture, was the theatre of one of the most ancient tuna-fishing net of the Mediterranean sea and right here was born the tuna in olive oil conservation method.
The Ex Stabilimento is nowadays a museal area that preserves different archeological artifacts excavated in the islands and in the sea between Marettimo, Levanzo and Favignana, some of them linked to the Battle of the Egadi.
Not so far from the establishment, there is the Palace wanted by the Florio family, and it was used as a holiday home during their stays in the island. The Palace dominates the Favignana harbour: built by Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda. Nowadays the palace is seat of the city council of Favignana and only a part of it is accessible to visitors.
In the afternoon, return to Trapani by hydrofoil and departure to Palermo. Overnight stay in Palermo.
Day 5 BB – Palermo: the capital of Culture
Day dedicated to the visit of the city centre of Palermo, from the Arab Norman path (UNESCO heritage) to the baroque churches and the eighteenth-century nobiliary buildings.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport. Possibility to extend the stay.